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Why La La Land Should Have Won Best Picture

Whimsical, inspiring and fun, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land was definitely worthy of an Oscar for “Best Picture.” While Moonlight was undoubtedly a great film, it lacked several qualities that were present in La La Land, a few of which include great cinematography, original music, Emma Stone, and, most importantly, Ryan Gosling (*swoon*).

My writing this article is not meant to downplay Moonlight’s great actors and actresses or heart-breaking plot, but to me, there were several areas in which Barry Jenkins’ film was lacking. For one, the planetarium scene in La La Land (For those who haven’t seen Chazelle’s masterpiece, Stone and Gosling were literally floating AND dancing in front of a starry backdrop at one point in the film. City of Stars, anyone?) single handedly earned Chazelle an Oscar, which led me to question the quality of cinematography in Moonlight.

To further prove my point, I have seen several films that take place in lower income areas, and there doesn’t seem to be much variation in terms of plot. Each film seems to center around a struggling character that is trying to make a better life for himself/herself, or escape from their negative setting. I may be wrong for saying this, but the only difference between Moonlight and films with similar storylines is a higher quality cast.

On the contrary, the opening scene of La La Land instantly captivated audiences across the globe, as professional dancers swirled around the screen to the catchy tune of “Another Day of Sun”. Each actor, actress and professional dancer was wearing vibrant attire that matched beautifully with the backdrop of a vividly blue Los Angeles sky.

While both films are great in themselves, the screenplay and cinematography of Chazelle’s La La Land were more original and distinctive than those of Moonlight. No question, the casts and directors of each film are fantastic, but to me, there were more Oscar worthy qualities present in La La Land than any other film nominated in 2016.


JCU Campus Correspondent
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